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The Coke Zero Experience

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The Coke Zero Experience

Old 03-30-19, 04:33 AM
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The Coke Zero Experience

Last fall I drank a Coke Zero that my wife had sitting around the house. The next day I experienced intense pain in both knees. For 7 days I literally hobbled around as it was painful to walk. Felt like I had played pro football all my life.
Two weeks ago I drank a Coke Zero, and once again within a day both knees were inflamed and in intense pain. This lasted for 8 days.

Typically I have little to no pain in the left knee, and no pain at all in the right knee.

I believe there is a link here, but don't know what it could be other than the artificial sweetener or an ingredient called acesulfame potassium used in the product, as the rest of the ingredients seem to be standard fair in a soda. I have never had a problem with the sweetener before, but perhaps an allergy of some sort has developed?

Not a soda drinker other than a regular Coke, fully leaded with sugar, once a week on Friday (Cheat Day). Anyone else have a similar experience with this product?
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Old 03-30-19, 05:30 AM
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I have enjoyed many a Coke Zero with no ill effects. In fact, I had one at lunch yesterday. I'm fine and my knees are fine.
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Old 03-30-19, 05:41 AM
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I drink Coke Zero regularly ... no joint problems.

What else did you do on the days you drank a Coke Zero?
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Old 03-30-19, 06:16 AM
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Google, "allergic coke zero" and you'll get hits. Only problem is... substitute "roast chicken" for "coke zero" and you also get hits. It even works for, "watermelon" (although, apparently its a rare allergy) so... my guess is, we're not 'gonna know for sure but it could be you do have an allergy even though few others do. Lucky for you, it's as easy to stay away from Coke Zero as to stay clear of, e.g., camel dander.
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Old 03-30-19, 11:20 AM
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I've gone to ZERO --- Coke for quite some time. Perhaps I'll have a glass or so of coke a year, or less.

But, a web search seems to indicate some individuals are sensitive to aspartame (sweetener), which appears to be associated with joint pain or general malaise.

If it is aspartame, then you would likely experience the symptoms with a host of products using that ingredient including almost every diet soda on the market. Artificial coffee sweeteners?
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Old 04-01-19, 10:37 AM
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stop drinking it?
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Old 04-01-19, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by McBTC View Post
It even works for, "watermelon" (although, apparently its a rare allergy).
I had a very minor watermelon allergy as a kid. My throat would get scratchy very shortly after eating it. Don't know if I still have it because I stopped eating it. Don't really care for the taste anyway.
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Old 04-08-19, 04:52 PM
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Oh yeah, I stopped drinking it! My wife is addicted to it and she complains of joint pain in her fingers. No will power.
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Old 04-08-19, 05:00 PM
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The reports I've read indicate that diet sugars don't necessarily help people lose weight. Either they're not displacing real food, or perhaps even stimulate hunger.

So, I've decided that if I need something sweetened, I just use plain sugar. And, of course, ride my bike more to burn calories.
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Old 04-10-19, 02:30 PM
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I've kept a pain diary for years to identify probable causes for headaches and other aches and pains. I'll take notes on foods and beverages, activities, weather/barometric pressure, allergy reports, etc.

Turns out it's almost never what I'd expected or what well-meaning friends armed with woo suggested.

Food triggers for headaches and body aches? Pretty rare for most people. When I was keeping a pain diary to identify migraine triggers 30 or so years ago one of the supposed triggers was gluten. Yup, way before the current gluten paranoia.

But gluten intolerance isn't really a thing for most folks unless they have a genetic predisposition. Same with most artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, etc. Sure, sugar alcohols like maltitol can cause digestive upset in some folks -- the stuff gives me ferocious gas, so if I eat any power bars or gels with maltitol I need to stay at the back of a group ride. But I've stopped buying the energy and protein bars that contain maltitol (ThinkThin bars are very good, other than the maltitol). Years ago I noted shiitake mushrooms as a possible trigger.

Turns out these weren't migraines and none of the triggers had anything to do with it. Ditto cluster headaches, which another neurologist suggested. It's more likely to be trigeminal neuralgia related to chronic upper sinus inflammation. I'm being re-evaluated now, including CT scans and MRIs.

Ditto chronic and recurrent body aches and pains. Nothing to do with foods or beverages, other than alcohol. The only consistent trigger has been sudden barometric pressure changes, usually drops but occasionally sudden higher pressure fronts. Same trigger as my headaches. This doesn't prove that barometric pressure change is responsible. But it's the most consistent condition that seems to coincide with aches and pains.

The headaches seem to be better controlled with more effective antihistamines, decongestants and inhalers. I've also tried a few supplements that supposedly relieved some upper respiratory problems: bromelain (pineapple enzyme) for sinus inflammation; niacin for loosening mucous. Both seem to work. At least they don't cause any harm. I have fewer severe headaches.

Another common trigger, especially for headaches, is caffeine. Anyone who drinks caffeinated beverages daily will develop some dependence. If we go more than 12 hours or so without a caffeine fix we'll begin to experience some withdrawal symptoms, commonly mild or worse headaches and body aches. I drink two or three cups of coffee in the morning and if I wait until noon or later to drink coffee or use caffeine, I'll have a moderate to severe headache. It clears up within 30 minutes of drinking coffee.

For other folks their caffeine fix comes from sodas -- usually colas, but caffeine is in many other carbonated beverages. Some energy drinks contain multiple stimulants, with highly concentrated caffeine, yohimbe, guarana, even ephedra, etc. Several years ago my cousin's oldest daughter in high school began experiencing sudden dizziness, then began to pass out and have seizures. After a neuro workup and physical it turned to be due to the kid subsisting primarily on energy drinks and candy -- the only snacks available in her school vending machines were sugary sodas, or with artificial sweeteners, and energy drinks, and candy. As soon as she changed her diet she got better.
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